MINNEAPOLIS -- Vikings fans are being asked to help dig out the University of Minnesota campus stadium in time for Monday night's Vikings game with the Bears.
Workers are scrambling to remove snow from bleachers, concourses and the field at TCF Bank Stadium. The university will host the NFL game because the snow-damaged Metrodome roof won't be fixed in time.
The problem is that snow is piled up at the stadium in five-foot drifts in some areas.
The university says it will take shoveling volunteers every day from Thursday through Sunday. The school will even provide the shovels if necessary. There are numerous logistical issues that need to be overcome before what would be the Vikings' first outdoor home game since a 10-6 loss to the Chiefs at Metropolitan Stadium in 1981.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that concession stands weren't built to withstand temperatures below 30 degrees. There are no beer taps. And 63,000-plus tickets have been sold for a stadium that seats 50,000.
The Vikings and the NFL will cover the university's stadium-preparation expenses, which could amount to $700,000 or more.
"We'll do whatever we can to get it ready," associate athletic director Scott Ellison told the Star Tribune, adding that university officials are "100 percent confident in the building."
Workers clear snow Tuesday from TCF Bank Stadium in preparation for Monday night's Bears-Vikings game.
While the snow removal may be a problem to me it also looks like the lighting may be a little lacking for a nationally televised broadcast. You can add to that unthawing the field before game time and to a long list of other cold related problems with hosting a night game there when temps may be in the single digits or even lower. That stadium was never intended for this kind of use so it will be interesting to see if they can overcome all of the obstacles.